Do you think the wide acceptance of marriage equality could lower the divorce rate?
Before you answer, let me give you some background as to why I'd ask this question.
For eleven years, I was married to a gay man. I thought my situation rare until I got a divorce and found out that many women have married gay men and many men have married lesbians, only to find out later and see it all crash and burn.
Do you think that if equal marriage became widely accepted by society, there would be less pressure or need for people to lie to themselves about who they are and marry people of the opposite gender, resulting in fewer divorces for reasons of sexual orientation?
My answer is yes, in the short term, but no over time. I think the divorce rate will dip in the short term, because there are so many long-term, same sex established relationships becoming marriages right now. Over time, however, I think we'll see the divorce rate go back to 50%, because all marriages have the same problems: people enter into the relationship too quickly, or without thinking; partners grow apart; money issues; pressures of raising children. Same sex marriages will have all these problems, as well as the additional pressures of dealing with the prejudice against them. And let's face it: marriage is hard, even in the best of circumstances.
As for your specific situation, my mother was in a similar one: she married a man who was gay before she met my father. He was under pressure from his family, who didn't know he was gay, to get married and have a family, and he married my mom because she was a good Catholic girl with no experience.
I don't think gay people who marry the opposite gender do so because they want to be married, or because marriage to someone of the same gender hasn't been available. I think they do it either because they don't want anyone to know they're gay, or because they don't, themselves, know they're gay. A lot of gay people don't come out to their parents and loved ones, because they're afraid of being rejected and discriminated against. This won't change just because there's marriage equality.
I should have defined what wide acceptance means. I meant it to mean almost everyone in the society has no problem with people marrying or loving the people they fall in love with and it's something that could occur in the future, but hasn't yet..
I don't think it would change my answer. Marriage is hard, regardless of gender. I don't think the divorce rate will change.
Do you think gay people will continue to marry people of the opposite sex at the same rates, even in the future? IMO, equality makes marriage slightly less about religion and social pressure and slightly more about love. Thanks for your insight!
If you think about interracial marriage: it's so commonplace in some places, and yet there are still people who are against it, who won't tell their families they're seriously dating someone of another race. Same thing will happen with LGBT folks.
That's a really good point. It's too bad more equality in a society is unlikely to strengthen the institution of marriage. Personally, I see more value to marriage as an institution now that it isn't being used as a tool of oppression.
I think the more marriages we have the more divorces we'll have. Most divorces that take place are not due to gay people marrying straight people.
Human beings make mistakes and divorce is essentially a public admission that mistake was made in the mate selection process.
I believe there are three basic reasons why people get divorced.
1. They chose the wrong mate! (Had different values/deal breakers)
2. They got married for the wrong reasons.
(age goals, money, unplanned pregnancy, ultimatum, all their friends were married, got tired of being single, scared of being alone)
3. They fell out of love over time or stopped wanting the same things.
There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them as (is) or move on.
“Some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.” — unknown
Every ending is a new beginning!
Ultimately, there's not much difference between gay marriages and straight marriages, and people will generally have the same problems either way, so I'm not sure we'll see a huge difference. Divorce is a tricky thing. I don't think people who aren't happy together should have to stay together, and I think high divorce rates can be looked at another way - in the past, people were socially forced to remain in terrible relationships because divorce was just that taboo. Now, that doesn't mean people shouldn't try to fix issues and work through problems rather than leaving at the first fight (unless there's abuse involved, obviously). Though another problem, I think, is people rushing into marriages too quickly with people they just don't know well enough. I guess the something going for gay relationships is that there's less likely to be sudden marriages on account of unplanned pregnancies!
Though, you do bring up a good point - as our society becomes more open and accepting, perhaps people will feel less forced to enter marriages because they are "supposed" to, like a gay person entering a heterosexual marriage, which generally just ends in heartache and frustration all around. Maybe in the future out willingness to let people be true to themselves really will lower the divorce rate a little bit.
There is no connection that would change the divorce rate because it is human nature to take an easy out especially when the law allows it.
The divorce rate increased after the 1970 no fault divorce was passed. Prior to that the grounds for divorce were death, adultery, and insanity.
Now, it is as simple as I want out.
Why would gay people keep marrying heterosexual people at the same rates and later divorcing them if they are free to marry people they're actually attracted to? That's part of the question asked.
This certainly has no bearing on my comment, Marriage eq has nothing to do with changing the divorce rate.
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